If you’ve recently considered any major home upgrades, you’ve likely heard of tankless water heaters and wondered if you should buy one. If your tank water heater is reaching the end of its service life, it may be a good idea to put a tankless unit on your to-do list.
Though these water heaters aren’t right for every home, their many benefits are tough to ignore. In this guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of tankless water heaters and how they may be able to help you save money.
- Instant access to hot water. After all the cold water has been flushed out of the pipes and through the faucet, a tankless water heater will provide a never-ending supply of hot water on demand.
- A longer lifespan. A major benefit of a tankless unit is its longer lifespan. The highest-quality tank-style units last about ten years, while a tankless model may last 20. Choosing a tankless model will help you save on replacement costs in the long term.
- Reduced monthly operating costs. While these systems cost more upfront, they are more efficient than conventional units. Though the monthly savings may be nominal, they add up quickly.
- You’ll save space. Tankless units are smaller than their conventional counterparts. Most of the time, they’re installed on walls in out-of-the-way places such as basements. If you’re downsizing, the extra space will be a great benefit.
- There’s no standby loss. Tank-style units repeatedly reheat water, consuming energy every time, even if no one is home. One of the biggest selling points for these water heaters is that there’s no standby loss of energy.
- You’ll never run out of hot water. In large households that use a lot of hot water, it runs out quickly. Because they don’t use reserved water, tankless water heaters ensure that there’s enough hot water to go around.
- Gas and electric units are available. Though most tankless water heaters are natural gas-powered, electric models are also available. Depending on your home’s infrastructure, an electric unit may reduce the need for costly, complex modifications.
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of tankless water heaters, let’s consider the disadvantages.
The Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
- Inconsistent heating. According to Consumer Reports, inconsistent water temperatures are a primary complaint among tankless water heater buyers. These issues usually arise from a unit’s inability to supply hot water to several outlets at the same time. Additionally, these water heaters don’t always turn on when the tap is slightly open.
- A higher upfront cost. Because tankless water heaters last longer, they’re more expensive. The average conventional unit costs about $500, while the least expensive tankless units are about $1000. Tankless water heaters cost more to install, so be sure to consider labor fees when pricing these units.
- A limited supply of hot water. Tankless water heaters supply hot water on demand, but that supply isn’t infinite. Standard units heat dozens of gallons of water at the same time, which is enough for one shower or a sink full of dishes. However, if everyone in the house takes a shower, or if the dishwasher is in use, tankless water heaters may not be able to keep up with the demand.
- You may need additional equipment. Most of the time, those using tankless water heaters will also need water softeners. The additional equipment adds to the upfront cost, and the softener will largely eliminate the unit’s space-saving benefits.
- It may take a while to recoup the cost. While you’ll save on monthly costs with a tankless water heater, it may take years to pay for itself.
- There are other ways to save. A tankless unit isn’t the only way to increase your water system’s efficiency. By simply changing usage habits, families can significantly reduce their water bills. Furthermore, low-flow fixtures and efficient appliances can offer savings equivalent to those of a new water heater.
- Other water heating options are available. Tankless units aren’t the only efficient way to heat water; solar heaters are becoming more popular across the country. These units consist of a storage tank and a solar collector, and they eliminate the requirement to install new fixtures or reroute gas lines. Solar heaters can be used anywhere, and they can quickly recoup their installation costs because they don’t rely on electric or gas power.
- These units require additional maintenance. To retain warranty coverage, a tankless water heater owner must schedule annual maintenance and use a water softener. Homeowners must also flush these systems once a year to minimize harmful mineral buildup. The expense of these tasks may negate some of the savings produced by a tankless water heater’s reduced energy requirement.
- Standard units can also be very energy-efficient. Energy Star-certified conventional water heaters are widely available. Not only will such a unit offer savings at a reduced upfront cost, but it may also qualify for some tax credits. Additionally, a homeowner installing such a unit won’t have to make big changes to their home’s infrastructure, as almost all American homes are set up to accommodate conventional water heaters.
If you’re still not sure if a tankless water heater is right for your home, contact us online or call the experts at Aquarius Home Services to request a no-obligation consultation.
Will a Tankless Water Heater Help You Save Money? It Just Might!
Every home and every person’s needs are different, and there are no absolutes where home plumbing is concerned. No single water heater type is appropriate for all applications, just as no unit is 100% free of the need for maintenance and repairs. The same thing goes for tankless water heaters and monthly savings. Though it’s impossible to say whether installing a tankless water heater will help you save money each month, you’re more likely to reduce your yearly bills by having such a unit installed by a local, licensed professional. Call the experts at Aquarius Home Services today to learn about our products and services.